Drilon rejects ‘resurrection’ of anti-subversion law
MANILA, Philippines — Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Tuesday rejected the suggestion to restore the law criminalizing subversion.
Drilon said that the anti-subversion law, which he described as “a tool to harass,” is “prone to abuse” and “undermined” some basic constitutional rights, such as the right to freedom of assembly and association.
“The anti-subversion law was ‘buried’ a long time ago for it was proven that such a policy, aside from being prone to abuse and a tool to harass, undermined some of our basic constitutional rights,” Drilon said in a statement.
Drilon’s statement is in response to Interior Secretary Eduardo Año’s suggestion to restore the anti-subversion law, noting that 500 to 1,000 youths allegedly being “indoctrinated” by communist rebels every year.
Año said in an earlier statement that it is unfortunate that the anti-subversion law was repealed, noting that leftist organizations reportedly recruiting students should be banned for being subversive and illegal.
The Senate minority leader, however, insisted that “mere membership” in any organization is not a crime.
The revival of the anti-subversion law would also violate the provision of the Constitution against undue favor and individual or class privilege, as well as hostile discrimination or oppression of inequality against one class or organization, he noted.
He said he will “strongly oppose” any attempt to revive the anti-subversion law “in the same manner” that he is “extremely against the reimposition of the death penalty.”
“We do not want this Congress to be remembered for resurrecting more ‘dead’ laws instead of formulating sound policies that will address the country’s present problems,” Drilon said.
“Mukhang humahaba po yata ang listahan ng mga patay na batas na gusto nating buhayin,” he added.
(It appears that the list of dead laws that we are trying to resurrect is getting longer.)
The senator noted that there are enough laws that can help the government address terrorism and provide adequate protection to the State, such as the Human Security Act, which imposes stiff penalties to acts of terrorism.
“We should not make it as an excuse to always blame the inefficiencies in our laws, proven or otherwise, for our failure to discharge our duty,” he said. /jpv
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